XO1 as an AC Powerline Data Recorder

Objective

Use the data collected by an XO-1 to create useful information about the distribution and timing of AC power over periods of days, weeks, or months.  Present this locally on the XO, upload the data to a schoolserver,  or a remote Internet Service Provider, and develop the programs to generate graphical output to visualize and summarize this information.

Strategic Importance of the AC Power Line Data Recorder

In many parts of the developing world, there is not enough generating capacity to satisfy all the demand. The solution to this situation is often some form of rolling blackout. The question becomes critical: “is there enough power available in a given length of time to charge batteries with a grid connected battery charger, or must the batteries be charged by a solar array?

The XO-1 collects and records data about the AC power it receives whenever it is connected to the grid and makes this information available to planners to meet school server power needs. When the grid power is interrupted, the batteries of the XO sustain its operation long enough for it to record the outage. After its batteries have been depleted, it shuts itself down gracefully. When the power returns, it starts up again and records the transition to powered operation.

What does it take to Make a  Power Monitor out of an XO1?

XO1’s are readily available on ebay. There may also be some help in obtaining an XO1 at volunteer@unleashkids.org. The process of creating an AC power monitor involves loading a recent operating system (push 4 adjacent buttons, and turn the XO on), and then downloading some specialized software onto an USB stick, inserting this USB into the XO, and turning it on. Specific instructions are at the github reference below:

How to access the AC Power information

If there is no school server, and no internet access available to the XO1, the information can be displayed locally on the XO’s screen.

If there is wifi access to an internet connection, the XO1 can open up a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to a VPN server on the internet.  Then anyone anywhere in the world can connect to the XO1 ACPower monitor, and obtain its information.

There is also a plan to have the XO1 send the information to openenergymonitor, a free and open source energy project in the United Kingdom. (But this effort is only partially complete as of 9/4/2014.

What Other People are Doing

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